From Inside the Games

A judge in Rio de Janeiro has recommended that Patrick Hickey is released from prison and placed under house arrest.

According to Irish broadcaster RTE, judge Fernando Antonio de Almeida cited the 71-year-old Hickey’s “critical health” when making the recommendation.

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) President was arrested earlier this month in connection with the alleged ticketing scandal involving Ireland at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The judge said Hickey’s imprisonment to date was based on “generic presumptions” and that his potential liberation from jail would not “put at risk the public order, or the application of penal law”.

He also said precautionary imprisonment can only be used when the maximum time possible for an offence exceeds four years.

Hickey was sharing a prison cell with Kevin Mallon, the director of THG Sports, which is one of two agencies at the centre of the controversy over allegations of illegal ticket sales at Rio 2016.

Mallon was released from the high security Bangu prison in west Rio de Janeiro on bail over the weekend following a Supreme Court ruling in Brasília.

THG were the Irish authorised ticket reseller (ATR) for London 2012 and Sochi 2014 but were not selected for Rio 2016, so had no rights to sell tickets.

It is alleged by Brazilian police, however, that Pro10 Sports Management, the Dublin-based company who were selected, were just a front operation to conceal THG’s involvement.

Earlier today, Hickey’s solicitor launched a fierce attack on his arrest in a televised dawn raid at the Windsor Marapendi Olympic Family Hotel.

Anne-Marie James told Irish radio station Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show: “Whether you like the man or not, the Department of Foreign Affairs have to represent him.

“Ticket touting is not murder.”

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